Stains happen and that is just a fact of life but hopefully, my stain-busting tips will help you save your favourite top and freshen up your carpet.
My Top Tips
As soon as you spot a stain act as quickly as you can and remember if you are out and about, your hand sanitiser is a good place to start, rub some all over the stain and let the sanitiser get to work and then once home the stain will be much easier to remove.
If the stain is on your clothes, turn inside out and flush the stain out under the tap.
If you are using a stain-remover product, make sure you read and understand the instructions before using it. Stick to the measurements the brand has given you.
Never Mix Stain-removing Products
If you are removing a stain from your favourite top or carpet and you are unsure text a patch first, behind the sofa, under a table or if it is your top turn inside out or under the collar area.
Once you have got the stain out ensure you thoroughly rinse out the stain-removing product, pop clothes on a short wash and really rinse and blot dry your carpets and rugs.
Remember product takes time to work, it is very rare you get an instant result so be patient and give the product time to work but ensure you check regularly.
Before drying ensure the stain has gone as once dry the stain will be set even further into the fabric.
My Stain Removal Must-haves
As simple as it sounds water is your first line of defence.
A powerhouse cleaner and great stain remover: get some here
Really good at fighting oil-based stains due to its degreasing powers.
Practically great for mattress and pillow stains: get some here
Bar of Soap
Pure soap works well on bodily stains.
Great for ink stains: get some here
Can act as a great stain remover and odour destroyer: get some here
Toothpaste is very mild and contains bicarbonate of soda, great to use on white trainers, cricket whites and removing scuff marks on walls.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Mixed with water can tackle most stains: get some here
All of these stain-busting ingredients can also be used to make amazing eco-friendly natural household cleaners: view recipes here
A -Z of the Most Common Stains
It isn’t easy keeping baby clothes and bibs clean; most babies will create stains and mess daily.
If you catch the stain quickly run the item under a cold tap from the reserve to flush out and rub in a little washing-up liquid. Leave it submerged in water until you put your next wash load on.
If you have missed the stain which is often very common when we have babies scrap off as much of the stain as you can using a blunt knife but be very careful not to rub the stain further into the fabric. Once removed run under a cold tap add a spritz of white vinegar and some washing-up liquid, leave for 15 minutes to allow the products to work, and then rinse. Keep it wet until your next washing load.
Breast Milk Stains
Breast milk leaves a protein-based fatty stain, run under a cold tap, and rub into the stain a little of your liquid laundry detergent. Keep wet until you wash as normal.
Formula Milk Stains
Soak in cold water some oxi active non bio stain remover.
Baby Poop Stains
Rinse off as much of the poop as you can, using warm water. Mix a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with washing a tablespoon of washing up liquid and gently work into the stains using a soft bristle brush, leave the products to work before rinsing and washing as normal.
A butter stain is oily by nature so never rub in the fabric as this will only make it worse and spread all over the fabric.
Scrap as much as you can off using a blunt knife. Then using a piece of kitchen roll blot the stain to get as much of the oil out as you can. Sprinkle the stained area with bicarbonate of soda and let it sit for 30 minutes, after this using your fingers and a tiny amount of water gently rub over the stain and again leave to sit, this time for 15 minutes. Rinse off and wash as normal.
With blood stains ensure you get to them as soon as possible and flush with cold water, NEVER use hot water with blood stains as it will cook the protein into the fibres making the stain much harder to remove.
If the blood stain is fresh after rinsing under cold water add some liquid laundry detergent rub in and wash as normal but if it is an older stain scrape off any crusted blood mix water with oxi action and keep submerged in water for at least 2 hours, then wash as normal.
Or if you would like a more natural approach add lemon juice directly to the stain, you can use fresh lemon or lemon from a bottle and add salt, rub the salt into the juice and the stain, and let sit for at least an hour before rinsing and washing
For blood stains on the mattress use hydrogen peroxide, add 30ml to a spray bottle, add a drop of washing-up liquid then fill the rest with water and liberally spray over the marks, scrub in, leave then blot dry using a white cloth. Always use white cloths as this helps you gage how much of the blood you are removing.
Waxy stains that candles can often leave behind are not pretty and not easy to remove.
If you have the caught wax drip early and it hasn’t quite hardened, pop an ice cube on the top to harden it quickly this way it is much easier to remove.
Once harden remove as much of the wax as you can using a blunt knife by gently scraping away.
Then cover the stain with brown parcel paper or cut a square out of a Primark bag, cover the stain completely, and then apply heat from either a cool iron or your hair dryer, the heat will lift the stain and it will stick to the brown paper, turn the paper and repeat until the stain has gone.
Chocolate is one of the easiest stains to get rid of, use a blunt knife or credit card to scrap off as much of the chocolate as you can, flush under a cold tap and then rub in some washing up liquid.
Coffee and Tea Stains
If you catch the stain as you spill, grab a piece of kitchen roll, and blot out as much of the liquid as you can.
Then for both fresh and older stains, rinse the stain under cold water, rub in some of your liquid detergent and pop it in the machine. If the stain is on a carpet or your sofa, blot away first and then use a soft bristle brush to scrub gently with water and your liquid detergent. Leave to sit in the stain for a while then blot dry with a cold wet cloth until it has vanished.
For white t-shirts and shirts use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, bicarbonate of soda, and water then rub into the stain leave to sit for a while then wash as normal.
For darker colour tops liberally spray with neat white vinegar leave it to soak in, then after a while wash as normal.
Grass stains are very common especially in the summer when the kids are playing out or enjoying a game of cricket.
If you do get grass stains on cricket whites then there is a really simple solution, dampen the stain using cold water, and then using a small soft brush scrub is some white toothpaste. Leave this on as long as you can, rinse and then wash as normal.
For grass stains on other items just apply a bit of your regular laundry detergent, rub this in using your fingers, leave to sit, and then wash as normal. There is no need to rinse.
Like butter stains, dampen the stain then sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda to soak up the grease, you can also use corn starch here which also works just as well, after 15 minutes rub it into the stain and leave again, rinse under a cold tap and wash as normal.
Lemon juice also can work well on grease stains.
If you dye your hair from home, you may find it can get quite easily get on your clothes and even your carpet. Best solution is to mix 3 ingredients together, rubbing alcohol, white vinegar and washing up liquid along with water, mix and scrub in using a soft bristle brush.
Like chocolate ice cream is pretty easy to remove, scrape off as much as you can if it has dried in, rinse with cold water and rub in washing up liquid, and let it sit before washing as normal.
A blob of ketchup can quickly ruin your favourite top or shorts.
Remove as much of the ketchup as you can using a blunt knife on the back of a spoon.
Flush from the reverse under a cold tap and then blot out as much of the stain as you, liberally spray with white vinegar, and then wash as normal.
Ever painted your toes and spilled the bottle on your carpet? If you, haven’t you have had a lucky escape, it is such a common stain.
There are a few solutions here you can try, if you use n acetone-based nail polish remover this usually works, if on carpet make sure you test a patch under the sofa/bed first as acetone can strip colour, if it is safe to use dampen with cold water and then apply the nail polish remover. If this is on a top just test the acetone nail polish remover on the inside seem.
After using the acetone nail polish remover ensure you thoroughly rinse and wash.
Alternatively, mix window cleaner with washing-up liquid, rub into the dampened stain, leave to work for 30 minutes rinse, and then wash as normal.
With any type of oil stain happens, never rub or wipe it because that will push it deeper into the fibres of the fabric and make it set.
Dampen the stain and then sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda onto the stain and leave it to sit for at least 15 minutes, then brush away the bicarbonate of soda rub in some washing-up liquid, and wash as normal.
Alternatively cover with lemon juice and table salt, rub into the fabric let it sit and then wash as normal.
Water-based paint stains easily come off with a cold-water flush and liquid detergent rubbed in, leave it to work and then add to the wash as normal.
If the paint is oil-based it is a little trickier, dampen the stain with cold water and then cover in a piece of kitchen roll. Once fully covered you will need to use some paint thinner, saturate the area add a blob of washing-up liquid leave overnight and then wash as normal the following day.
We all love our loveable pets but not always the stains and odours that can come from them.
Urine stains literally just flush out with cold water but it is the smell that can really linger, for clothing and carpets soak in cold water with a big splash of white vinegar, leave as long as you can and then wash as normal.
For carpets dampen with cold water and very liberally spray with white vinegar scrub in using a soft bristle brush, leave overnight and then rinse out in the morning. The vinegar smell will disperse very quickly.
Faeces and Vomit
Lift and scrap off as much as you can using a blunt knife, flush out with cold water, mix some oxi active with water and rub into the stain. Leave to soak in overnight and then wash as normal.
If the stain is on your carpets on upholstery after scrapping, dampen the area with cold water and sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda then scrub in some hydrogen peroxide, leave, and then vacuum off after a few hours.
Red Wine Stains
The hardest stain to remove is red wine and the old-fashioned wives’ tale of chucking a glass of white wine over the stain, unfortunately, does not work.
As soon as you spot the stain act quick, blot off as much of the stain as you can using a piece of kitchen roll.
Mix a solution of hydrogen peroxide and washing-up liquid and pour directly onto the stain, let it sit for as long as you with regular checks, then wash as normal.
Or dampen the stain with cold water and add sea salt, rub in and leave overnight and then wash as normal.
There is an absolutely fantastic product you can buy called RED WINE NO MORE, if you can get your hands on this the stain will disappear with ease.
Tooth Paste Stains
If you just add your stained toothpaste to the washing machine the stains will come out but if you are rushing out the door and spot a stain from brushing your teeth and have no time to get changed you need to dampen a cloth with cold water add some laundry liquid detergent and rub gently into the stains, blot dry with a different cloth and away you go.
How to Remove those Annoying Suncream Stains this Summer
I must get this question at this time of year up to 30 times a day. I do try to reply to you but sometimes a more in-depth write-up can give you so much more information than a quick answer.
Suncream can be a real pain to get out and the longer you leave it the worse it is going to get. If you are out and about when the stain occurs you are naturally going to wipe the stain with a tissue or a wet wipe but the heat from the sun and perspiration can activate the grease even more making it much worse.
Try to prevent Suncream stains always rub the suncream into your skin really well and wash your hands straight after application. If you are travelling with suncream always place it in a safe secure plastic travel pouch bag or place it inside two carrier bags and wrap it tightly. There is nothing worse than getting to your destination and opening your suitcase to burst suncream.
My Advice to Remove Suncream
As soon as you can rinse the stain from the reverse under a cold water tap, this way the stain is being pushed out of the fabric and hopefully flushing out as much as the stain as possible.
Sun cream has an oil base so you need something to break that down, so one of your go-to products here is white wine vinegar. Cover the stain in the vinegar and leave a good 30 minutes to an hour to really allow the vinegar to work.
Another option is eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil is great for oily stains. Just cover the whole stain and leave for around 15 minutes.
Next, wash the garment at the hottest temperature that is safe for the fabric, and check for the stain again before you dry. Once the item has dried you won’t get the stain out. So if there is still a trace of the stain repeat this process again. When an item of clothing has had a grease-based stain avoid the tumble dryer because if there is any trace of the stain it will then be permanent.
I would air dry on the washing line or on a clothes airer.
I hope this helps with some of those annoying Sun Cream stains.